Mahwah Residents Hoping To Block Construction Of Mega Mall

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Mahwah residents are organizing to block the construction of a mega mall in the neighborhood.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports on the town’s opposition to the mall

Crossroads Development announced plans recently to a build a couple of box stores, a movie theater and a retail space on a 140-acre parcel where the old Ford plant stood, but residents do not want it at all.

Michael Richards said the town is already backed up with traffic congestion.

“We don’t really want to become Paramus North,” he said. “We’re concerned about that and the congestion.”

The shopping plaza would be built near the intersection of routes 17 and 287, and Mahwah Mayor John DaPuzzo said construction of the plaza brings an economic incentive to the town.

“It’s $2 million worth of building permits and $2.1 million worth of tax revenue for future budgets,” DaPuzzo said.

The developer needs a zoning change to proceed.

DaPuzzo said traffic improvements are already on the way thanks to current projects and so the plaza would not worsen current conditions.

“I think the majority of the traffic, that we’re going to be existing traffic that’s already on the road but I don’t think the impact is as great as everybody thinks and there’s going to be a significant amount of improvements on route 17,” he said.

Richards, meanwhile, is still unconvinced.

“My main thing is the traffic. Other people in the group have concerns about pollution and crime,” Richards said.

Debate will continue this week at the Mahwah council meeting and will include traffic, crime, pollution and taxes on the table.

More from Sean Adams
  • Mahwah Resident

    It seems like this project would create many jobs for local residents. I’m willing to be inconvenienced if it would enable people to better themselves economically. I personally have worked at Paramus Park Mall. There has always been quick access and with the exception of a few Saturdays in December, it’s impact on the area has been minimal. It’s a small mall. It’s not a megamall like Garden State Plaza. It would create hundreds of jobs. Would be good for Mahwah youth to work locally too. Too much fear here… it will create opportunities for many. I think its a good idea.

    • Bob Leonard

      as per usual, what we have here is a ‘Skiing Down Mount BS’ commentary…Between Environment, Traffic, increasing demand on Mahwah Fire & Police services by 305 and a plethera of other concerns…Mahwah Town Council, In Complete DISREGARD to Thousands of Signatures on a Petition Opposing this BOONDOGGLE as well as Hundreds of Mahwah Residents in attendance at ALL Town Government Proceedings to Protest this Project…Mahwah Town Council did Not even arrange to put this to a Electoral Referendum, to At Least give its constituents the opportunity of going On The Record to Voice Their Opposition…

  • Jeff Bauer

    With all due respect to Mayor DaPuzzo, I have an extremely difficult time understanding how any reasonable, intelligent person could actually believe that a retail development of this size isn’t going to significantly increase traffic both on this poorly designed highway interchange and on local roads. I invite him and the members of the Council to drive on Route 17 north and on route 202 north during the evening rush in the days leading up to their vote on this project on Thur 3/31.

  • Sickof Overdevelopment

    Come on people…sure, with the economic down turn new tax revenues are great for local governments…but do we really need yet another shopping center? Hopefully the mayor, who I would love to remind that he is an elected official who should be representing constituents, listens to the voter majority. Well I guess in this case he is not elected but rather appointed by those who were elected. If he doesn’t listen to you Mawah residents…vote him out in the special election in November 2011!!

  • Rob

    This mall will draw from every radius. More traffic- highway and local. Struggling local business will die. More crime. More taxes to pay a police dept. When the developers and officials are full of sh–! We do not need to get bigger. Like the comments above, we have so many malls in every direction and they are only 15 min away. Why do we need another. What ever the officials say it will cost or generate in tax revenue – they lie or miscalculate. It’s the American way. Go to the meeting on the 31st and be heard!

  • majormajor42

    I think I’m willing to agree with most of the comments here. Let me be honest, at first I thought that this development was a good idea and this was a case of the NIMBYs. From the photo (i don’t understand how the photo is incorrect?) it looks like a good use of barren land. There would not have to be a major clearing of natural forest for starters. This is the land of the former Ford plant and when I visit the Sheraton for events, it still looks very barren. It is also right off the highway and I don’t see how it would impact traffic in the rest of Mahwah, such as on Rt. 202. I actually rarely have traffic in the area of this exit, further South on 17, sure, and on the Thruway perhaps, but not at this exit.

    BUT then when I read the comments I got myself educated. I did not consider the impact to the Stag Hill community. This would suck for them. I am also concerned about the taxpayers of Mahwah and the impact on services. since the zoning board is a local board, I just don’t understand why they would want to do this to their own community. And the thing that concerns me most as a neighbor of Mahwah but not a resident is the drain on other local businesses. It seems that new movie theaters will just put older ones out of business. Same goes for the box stores replacing other “Main Street” establishments.

    Time to think outside the box and come up with some solution that will benefit the community, not some chain store that already exists a few miles away.
    So while I don’t necessarily feel that developing this property should be off-limits, I just don’t see how the current choice in development could possible benefit the area and the local board should vote this rezoning down, for now.

    In the meantime, keep up the fight and educate people like me.

    • RamapoRocks

      they changed the photo, it was a a generic photo of a mall storefrons with fence with construction on it. Now it has a photo of the site plan over the actual land. and you can see how close it is to the Ramapo River. No environment impact study done and Mahwah’s aquifers and water supply could be contaminated.

  • shopGirl

    Why do we need another mall ? We’ve got Garden State Plaza, Paramus Park, Riverside Mall, Nanuet Mall, Palisades, Wayne Hills, Preakness, Rockaway. I’d rather drive there when it suits me than be stuck with the traffic ALL the time and all those shoppers coming here to my home, my retreat. I shop, I shop ALOT and I cut thru local roads all the time when there’s a big holiday sale, good ole GPS. I know it’s a mess for the people who live in these areas and homes on those main roads are not first choice for home buyers, there goes your property values … even lower.

    So if Dapuzzo thinks traffic isn’t going to get worse, he must think the mall won’t have any business. hah! so there goes his imaginary tax revenue.

  • RamapoRocks

    The photo is definitely misleading, it’s a stock photo of who knows where.
    The Mahwah site has the Sheraton hotel on it and NO current construction and Dapuzzo is not truthful if he said traffic improvements are already on the way. Unless, he means he’s ignoring what the residents wants and has decided to make the Council will vote yes, the way he wants them to .


    For the mayor to say that this mall would add no more traffic than is already on the roads is his own private pipe dream. As he says, everyone else–including the developer’s own traffic study, which foresees adding 20,000 cars–thinks otherwise. What gives him such insight??

    This huge mall would be located at the biggest bottleneck around, where 3 major highways (17, 287, 87) converge. The developers have said they won’t be fixing the worst problem–the infamous “weave” area. Other “improvements” to 17 include eliminating the shoulder and the acceleration/deceleration lane in front of the gas stations and Suburban Propane. Planning Bd members specifically pointed out the danger of Suburban Propane being closer to the highway and trucks exiting directly into traffic. And this is exactly where that traffic will be exiting for the mall!!

    Also worsened is access to the entire Stag Hill area of town, where hundreds of families depend on one road in/out, and that road right in the middle of this mess. How would they get home when traffic is at a standstill on 17, which happens frequently already? How would fire apparatus get through to the mall’s ONE entrance at those times?? And when traffic backs up on 17, drivers take to the local roads, already a constant problem in Mahwah as people avoid the backup of this intersection.

    The mayor paints a rosy picture, but when you know the details, it’s not rosy at all. The taxes he describes (which we wouldn’t see unless the mall is fully built and occupied–years away in the best scenario) would mean only $123,000 to the town itself, which doesn’t begin to cover the associated costs of fire, police, emergency, and the loss of taxes as local businesses begin to suffer. Paramus has the most malls and the highest crime rate in Bergen Co., and their taxes have gone UP, not down, as a result of their malls.

    Mahwah residents would be the big losers if this mall comes to town. Any tax revenue would be offset by costs, crime, and traffic. Mahwah would lose its small town appeal, becoming a less desireable place to live and driving property values down. Go to for more info and to sign the petition against this.


  • Fritz Von

    The New Yorkers Are coming, the New Yorkers are coming !!!! Dang city slickers a comin’ up Mahwah way pert near soon fer a fair piece a shoppin’.

  • John Camlic

    You would be hard pressed to find a Mahwah resident who want this mall when the know the real facts. Route 17 is already a traffic nightmare. The developers own traffic studies indicate this mall would bring in 20,000 new cars per day. We all know that this is a conservative number and not the real number. Why? For one thing, you will have New Yorkers flocking to this mall because of no sales tax on clothes! We’ll be getting them from New York state and from over the Tappan Zee bridge. Further, this mall will end up costing the tax payer money, not just in our way of life, but in revenue. Who is going to pay for all of the extra police we’ll need? Malls bring crime. The Mahwah police will be called for every shop lifter, every parking lot fender bender, every fraudulent credit card… And what about our volunteer ambulance department? They’re having trouble finding volunteers as it is. Will we now have to turn to a paid fire and ambulance corp? How about the impact to the Ramapo River? For 15 years, the residents of Mahwah have been telling the council that we don’t want a mall.

  • GC

    What about local jobs? Isn’t that a lot more important than traffic? This type of complaint has been going on since the beginning of recorded time. Get a life already.

    • Auburn Dale

      Would the jobs really be “local”? Would Mahwah residents be eligible for new jobs in their own town? (Compare with Atlantic City, whose residents are NOT eligible for casino jobs.)

  • from Mahwah

    A few inaccuracies here –

    First of all, the Mayor of Mahwah’s correct name is John Dapuzzo – not Depozzo. Also, the photo attached with this article is very misleading – it is not from Mahwah and, more importantly, there currently is absolutely no new construction going on at the proposed site of the mall.

    Before this can happen, the developer needs to get several variances, so any groundbreaking is a long way off.

    In fact, there are some Mahwah residents who feel that a mall would benefit the area by keeping local shoppers from traveling to Palisades Center or Garden State Plaza.

    • Mahwah Resident

      Thanks for pointing out the picture in this article I also thought it was misleading, I have no idea where it came from.
      I don’t see this mall helping local business at all. Putting a mall in Mahwah would draw people away from the already struggling businesses in our town’s actual center. I don’t buy all this BS about the mall being a new town center, its literally on the border of NJ and NY. I don’t think malls like Garden State have much of an effect on Mahwah’s local business and I really don’t mind driving 12 minutes to get to a mall. In my opinion they really are not necessary, in fact most people buy online today.

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